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Faked/Altered Model 61 Rifle Listing
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February 16, 2024 - 6:11 pm
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Hi Folks,

New to WACA!

I have a Win. 61 in .22 mag., SN 312469.  Winchester has advised me that it was made in 1959.  The barrel has only the proof mark and no other stampings.  The rifle is in excellent condition; and, when compared to another 61 mag I have, the finish on the two barrels are identical under a 10X loupe.

Any thoughts on why the barrel has no markings, other than the proof mark?  Winchester said it is probably a replacement when I posed the question to them, asking if it might have been gifted from the factory, lunch box, factory oversight, meant for factory refinishing, etc.

Thanks,

     Barry

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February 16, 2024 - 6:56 pm
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Hello Barry,

Model 61 s/n 312469 was not manufactured in the year 1959, and it was not “Winchester” that you advised you.  The people that you apparently spoke with are actually employees of the Browning Arms Company (BACO), and they do not have any accurate information concerning the older (pre-1981) production firearms that were actually manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.  They simply refer to an erroneous reference source that was published more than 40 years ago.

Model 61 s/n 312469 was actually manufactured in the latter half of the year 1961.  Why it has no markings other than a proof mark is perplexing.  One thing I am relatively certain about, is that it did not leave the Winchester factory through normal production channels with an unmarked barrel.  There are entities out there that can easily duplicate the bluing methods that Winchester used in the early 1960s. Pictures of the barrel and rifle would be useful.

Bert

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February 16, 2024 - 7:04 pm
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So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models?

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…

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February 16, 2024 - 7:28 pm
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Jeremy P said
So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models?

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…

One only has to mention the name C.H. Key to open up the dirty subject about fake Model 61 rifles.

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February 16, 2024 - 7:32 pm
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Bert H. said

Jeremy P said

So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models?

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…

One only has to mention the name C.H. Key to open up the dirty subject about fake Model 61 rifles.

  

Clearly I have some research and reading to do! 

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February 16, 2024 - 7:34 pm
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Jeremy P said
So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models?

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…  

Hello Jeremy,

Schwing’s book is pretty much the best source out there.  The second best additional source is me.  I have spent 10 years cataloging just over 9100 individual Model 61 rifles and I ma happy to answer any questions that you might have.  The Model 61 is fairly easy to modify and “fake” since someone can buy a real nice original standard rifle and switch out the barrel to a modern fake barrel and triple the potential value of the gun.  There are lots of these rifles from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s that have seen little use and therefore the receiver and wood are in very good condition.  Slap a brand new barrel on it and it can be VERY difficult for new collectors to know the difference.  You can’t do that with a 120 year old rifle.  The chance that some of it is pristine is far less and a new barrel on an old gun is very obvious.

Michael

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February 16, 2024 - 7:37 pm
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Barry Kneeland said
Hi Folks,

New to WACA!

I have a Win. 61 in .22 mag., SN 312469.  Winchester has advised me that it was made in 1959.  The barrel has only the proof mark and no other stampings.  The rifle is in excellent condition; and, when compared to another 61 mag I have, the finish on the two barrels are identical under a 10X loupe.

Any thoughts on why the barrel has no markings, other than the proof mark?  Winchester said it is probably a replacement when I posed the question to them, asking if it might have been gifted from the factory, lunch box, factory oversight, meant for factory refinishing, etc.

Thanks,

 Barry

Hello Barry and welcome to WACA,

I am the author of this forum thread.

Send me a series of images of your Model 61 rifle and I will be happy to advise you.  Is there an “A” stamped below the serial number?  My email address is [email protected]

Michael

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February 16, 2024 - 7:39 pm
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Bert H. said

Jeremy P said

So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models.

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…

One only has to mention the name C.H. Key to open up the dirty subject about fake Model 61 rifles.  

Absolutely!!!  He and his cohorts produced MANY altered and fake guns.  I documented quite a few of them.

Michael

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Model 1892 / Model 61 Collector, Research, Valuation

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February 16, 2024 - 7:49 pm
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twobit said

Jeremy P said

So, I’m currently reading the Schwing books on the slide actions (only partway through Vol 1) and want to end up in the future with a few of these slide actions…caught this thread when new posts recently got made. Are the model 61s just more disposed towards fakery than others, or is it common across all the models?

From all this, I assume the knowledge in the books I’m reading is gold on what to look for…  

Hello Jeremy,

Schwing’s book is pretty much the best source out there.  The second best additional source is me.  I have spent 10 years cataloging just over 9100 individual Model 61 rifles and I ma happy to answer any questions that you might have.  The Model 61 is fairly easy to modify and “fake” since someone can buy a real nice original standard rifle and switch out the barrel to a modern fake barrel and triple the potential value of the gun.  There are lots of these rifles from the 40’s 50’s and 60’s that have seen little use and therefore the receiver and wood are in very good condition.  Slap a brand new barrel on it and it can be VERY difficult for new collectors to know the difference.  You can’t do that with a 120 year old rifle.  The chance that some of it is pristine is far less and a new barrel on an old gun is very obvious.

Michael

  

Thanks Michael, makes sense on the fakability of the 61s when you point that out. I have learned so much in the last 18 or so months with the levers, I’m starting to have a “just OK” eye at what “looks right” and what doesn’t….I try not to overstay my welcome asking too many opinions on guns listed for sale, etc. but then again, everyone’s been so helpful and I appreciate that. I will definitely reach out once I get to the point I want to acquire some slides!

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February 16, 2024 - 10:26 pm
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Jeremy, keep asking.  Everyone learns from other peoples questions.

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